Ru­pert splits the na­tion

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Mpho Sibany­oni

Bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Jo­hann Ru­pert yes­ter­day apol­o­gised fol­low­ing com­ments he made about black peo­ple dur­ing a ra­dio sta­tion in­ter­view also broad­cast live on TV. The chair­per­son of the Swiss-based lux­ury-goods Richemont, who goes by the Twit­ter han­dle @cut­maker posted that it was not his in­ten­tion, when he was a guest of Given Mkhari on POWER98.7 Chair­man’s Con­ver­sa­tion with Ru­pert on Tues­day evening, to in­sult any­one. “Apol­ogy, no in­sult in­tended. I merely replied to a ques­tion about how my par­ents gen­er­a­tion lived and saved. “Mil­lenials GLOB­ALLY have dif­fer­ent life-styles. (And men­tioned that Steve Biko, whom I knew, would not have done it.) I used to go to Stu­dio 54 – could not af­ford JW [John­nie Walker] Blue [La­bel],” he said.

“Taboo and the Sands are two very ex­pen­sive clubs where co­pi­ous amounts of ex­pen­sive French cham­pagne and JW Blue get con­sumed.

“Park­ing lots filled with Bent­leys, Lam­borgh­i­nis etc. pointed out Given’s age group – of ALL colours – be­have dif­fer­ently from a pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.” Ru­pert’s posts came after he was lam­basted on Twit­ter for say­ing the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of black peo­ple, un­like Nel­son Man­dela, love The Sands and would not spend 20 years in prison.

He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion on whether Man­dela was a sell­out. “I hear this nar­ra­tive that Madiba was a sell­out. I mean it’s dis­re­spect­ful. I don’t see your gen­er­a­tion, call me an old top­pie. I don’t see your gen­er­a­tion go­ing to jail for two nearly three decades. No, you’ll miss The Sands.” He also opined that suc­cess­ful black peo­ple buy BMW’s and go to Taboo.

He said Afrikan­ers who had sur­vived the con­cen­tra­tion camps dur­ing the An­glo Boer War were suc­cess-driven and had not spent their money on friv­o­lous things. Twit­ter users ap­peared sym­pa­thetic, though. Micah posted: “Mr Ru­pert sorry you have taken flak from some. I am a 19 year old black & I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated you be­ing on Power but would have liked to hear more busi­ness in­sight & wis­dom Please keep talk­ing & don’t go silent again be­cause some of us are lis­ten­ing, tak­ing note & not hat­ing.” Sipho wrote: “Re­ally no need to apol­o­gise. Un­for­tu­nately some peo­ple are con­stantly look­ing for rea­sons to be of­fended…”

But Mzansi’s celebri­ties Brid­get Masinga‚ Por­tia Gumede and Ur­sula Chikane, among oth­ers, had their anger sparked by Ru­pert’s com­ments.


Given Mkhari and Jo­hann Ru­pert.

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